EU, U.S. to collaborate on smart grid standards

EU, U.S. to collaborate on smart grid standards

U.S. and European organizations that coordinate the development of a standards framework for smart grids announced this week their intention to work together on standards development, emphasizing common goals and areas of focus. This can unlock innovation in the electrical sector. The new collaboration of the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and

U.S. and European organizations that coordinate the development of a standards framework for smart grids announced this week their intention to work together on standards development, emphasizing common goals and areas of focus. This can unlock innovation in the electrical sector.

The new collaboration of the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the European Union’s (EU) Smart Grid Coordination Group (SG-CG) is meant to ensure that smart grid standards on both continents have as much in common as possible, so that devices and systems that interact with these grids can be designed in similar fashion.

Overall goals include the reduction of carbon emissions and security of supply. For instance, smart grids are expected to ease the incorporation of renewable energy sources, energy saving devices and electric vehicles into the power system.

“While the potential benefits of smart grids are enormous, they can only be fully reached if we can all agree on global solutions,” says Ralph Sporer, chairman of SG-CG.

“It is promising to see that NIST and SG-CG will be supporting a number of common positions and areas of collaboration to ensure a consistent set of international standards.”

The legislative effort has translated into a number of standards initiatives like the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards in the United States and a Smart Grid mandate in the EU. The collaboration aims to harmonize these conceptual frameworks.

It also will promote the regular exchange of information regarding such issues as:

  • Legislation, regulation and other policies underpinning NIST and SG-CG work;
  • Respective work methods, work programs and time lines;
  • Standardization deliverables;
  • Testing and certification frameworks;
  • Cyber security requirements and technologies.

According to NIST’s George Arnold, the national coordinator for smart grid interoperability in the United States, the need for integration of multiple technologies, the many international activities, and ever-changing technical solutions within a short time frame make standards development a challenging task for standards organizations worldwide.

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